Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: Waterman 12 Red Mottled Eyedropper + XF - BB Wet Noodle Nib

This beauty was pretty much a life requirement when I first laid my greedy eyeballs upon it on Vintage Pen. If you missed my little post on the Dallas Pen Show this year, I mentioned I picked it up from the very kind and ever helpful Mauricio of Vintage Pen.
Waterman 12 Eyedropper

Brand: Waterman
Model: 12
Body Material:Red Mottled Hard Rubber
Trim: Nickel Trim
Origins: Made in U.S.A
Length (capped): 5.25 inches
Length (posted): 6.75 inches
Diameter (widest point - body): 0.4 inches
Nib type: Waterman Ideal New York #2 Wet Noodle XF - BB
Nib material: 14K gold
Weight: 11 grams
Barrel design: Round, normal
Fill type: Eyedropper

GAHHHH I don't even want to "review" this pen. I just want to drool and pet it and make swirly, flexy lines. It's just so incredible to write with, I don't want to put it down. Can you remember the last time a pen was SO incredible, you didn't want to put it down? Where you fell so deeply in love with it that you just write pages and pages with it?
Waterman 12 Eyedropper Writing Sample
It turns out the ink sample I received was mislabeled. This is actually Sailor Ultramarine. Sorry for the confusion folks.
I love that it's an eyedropper. Apart from the fact that it holds a whopping 2 mls (plus a tiny bit more but I don't fill it too much), I love the eyedropper because it's easier to clean than other filling mechanisms. Hard rubber bodies shouldn't be exposed to water too much so I like using a bulb to flush the feed and rinse out the inside of the body. The body therefore has very little contact with water.
Waterman 12 Eyedropper
The pen body is so very smooth to the touch. I love holding it. The imprint on the barrel is still very visible - including a lot of the white - and overall, the whole thing is in great shape. The size is perfect for my hand and the weight is perfectly balanced, both empty and inked. The cap posts and caps by sliding on (no clicking or threads) and holds snugly. There is a clip but I won't be using it more than clipping the pen into a case. 
Waterman 12 Eyedropper
The nib is extra-fine and smooth. Writing at normal speed and without pressure, the pen writes an extra-fine line with ease. It's smooth and the ink flow is incredible. This eyedropper offers a great, steady flow of ink - not too much. With little pressure, the tines spread to a double broad line and the snap back is very quick. The ink flow is consistent and capable of keeping up with flex writing quite easily. I've managed to railroad a few times but I was writing very quickly and usually with flex pens, the lesson is: take your time! The line variation is gorgeous and combined with an ink that shades... *wipes drool*. It's truly a delight to write with this pen and that is mostly why I'm completely in love with it.
Waterman 12 ED Wet Noodle Nib #2
Waterman 12 ED Wet Noodle Nib #2
So much can be done with this incredible nib. It boggles my mind. It is encouraging and inspiring to use this pen. It's like it's full of magic. The delectable nib also really highlights shading with various inks. It's perfect for all sorts of inks.
Waterman 12 Eyedropper Writing 
True words.

Waterman 12 Eyedropper Writing Sample  Waterman 12 Eyedropper Writing Sample
 The extra fine nib can flex all the way to a double broad, though with wet inks, it can look even thicker. 
Waterman ED Nib 
Waterman 12 Eyedropper Writing Sample
Waterman 12 Eyedropper Writing Sample Line Variation
I hold the pen very close to the nib and sometimes I get blobs of ink on my finger tips. This may deter some people who like clean hands while writing and don't want to mess with ink much (in which case an eyedropper might not be the best choice for you). I love getting ink on my fingers for some reason, so this is like a plus to me!

The downsides to an eyedropper is if I jar the pen too much, it sometimes blobs a bit of ink out. However, I treasure this pen and treat it with great care. I never do things that can't handle an ink blob or two anyway so it doesn't matter to me. If I were to carry this in my pocket, I would have to be more careful. But a pen like this should be treasured in an awesome pen case (which I must acquire...).

All in all, this is my favorite pen in my collection. I just love every single thing about it.I wish it was a bit more affordable so that anyone interested in flexible nibs could try it out. No other modern flex pen I have tried comes close.


Peninkcillin said...

Awesome, I'd love one of these. Do you have any idea how it compares to a Noodler's Ahab in terms of flex?

Azizah Asgarali said...

Tough question... My Ahab still hardly works... I find what I like best about vintage flex pens is their feeds are better at keeping up with the ink demands. Despite much adjusting, my Ahab still railroads. As does my nib creaper. I have two Airmail 444s from FP Revolution which are better budget flex pens than either of my Noodler's. Given the difference in price of an Ahab and the vintage flex pens, an Ahab is not too bad at all (if it works). The wet noodles are so delightful though because line variation is so easy to get and is much more extensive. At least in this case of XF-BB here. It really depends what you're using your flex pen for, I think. And how well adjusted your Ahab is hehe. Ideally, you should get to a pen show and try out some vintage flex pens for yourself :) Because everyone will have their own opinion about it. Personally, I'd rather pay more for a flex pen I know will work flawlessly. And I'm completely in love with this nib!... This is long and rambling and I might not have answered your question. ... Did I? LOL

Breck said...

AA, I've been shopping, wistfully, for a vintage flex pen for months now. They are getting too popular (probably because of Stephen's video of restoring his 52). I agree Waterman is the best for me in terms of size and my hand. I find the Parker bhr pens to have a disagreeable grip section. Mabie-Todds are right there with the Watermans but much more expensive. I really want a 52 1/2 V; I think that is the best flex for me given what I've seen. Never held or written with one though. Too far from either brick and mortar stores or pen shows. I'd be a bit wary of eye droppers & prefer a lever filler like the 52.

Tuuli said...

thank you for the fun intro. Can't afford it myself so it is great to read at least

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